Jim Seaton proudly shows off the curtain his daughter brought him to hang in his new home in a bachelor apartment.

Two years ago, the gift would have been useless because he was sleeping outside Toronto City Hall. But now, the 64-year-old from Timmins, who lives on Canada Pension and is unable to work because of emphysema, is living in a $748, rent-geared-to-income unit.

“Now I don’t have to worry about the weather. I don’t give a hoot if it rains,’’ he said, surveying the apartment in the Bay Street and Davenport Road area.


Seaton said he has less stress, is happier and sleeping much better.

That’s consistent with conclusions in a recent survey done by Streets To Homes, a city-run program that is helping people like Seaton find permanent housing.

The Streets To Homes survey, to be widely distributed this week, found that people housed under the program are feeling happier, healthier and safer. They’re also relying less on emergency services like hospital beds and ambulances.

Band-Aid solution?

  • Some advocates for the poor say the program addresses only the most visible signs of homelessness, while providing an excuse for the city to phase out other supports, such as shelter beds.